Friday, November 18, 2011

Arroyo now under 'hospital arrest' -- authorities

Authorities finally served the warrant of arrest against former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after a local court found probable cause for electoral sabotage charges.

She is now under the custody of the Southern Police District, according to Sr. Superintendent James Bucayo.

Police said Arroyo looked rested when the warrant of arrest was read to her.

"She's now under hospital arrest," added CIDG-National Capital Region chief Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel.

The warrant was served at around 6:30 P.M. in the presence of the former First Family, lawyers and former Cabinet members, Coronel added.

Arrest warrants were also served to Andal Sr. and former election officer Lintang Bedol.

Bucayo said Arroyo will be "booked" Saturday. Arroyo just woke up when they arrived at St. Lukes Medical Center in Taguig City. "She was expecting the warrant," he said.

The clerk of court of Pasay Regional Trial Court Branch 112 said presiding judge Jesus Mupas found probable cause that the ailing Arroyo, along with former Commission on Elections officials, may be liable for poll rigging.    
Apart from Arroyo, an arrest warrant is also out against former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr.and former Comelec election supervisor Lintang Bedol.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Chief Superintendent Alan Purisima and the Taguig City Police chief Tomas Apolinario arrived at the St. Lukes Medical Center to serve the warrant of arrest.
Meanwhile, the Arroyo has filed a motion to block the arrest, arguing the regional court has no jurisdiction over the case but should be under the Sandiganbayan.
The accused may be detained either in NBI detention center or Camp Crame. But with Arroyo's condition, a hospital arrest may be likely. Electoral sabotage is non-bailable.
The warrant came hours after Comelec filed the case.
In a press conference, de Lima said this compels Arroyo to stay in the country.
"Mrs. Arroyo is compelled to stay in the country, and face the charges of electoral sabotage filed against her, bringing us closer to uncovering the truth behind the controversies surrounding the 2007 elections," she said in a press conference.
"Rest assured that throughout the judicial process, the government will exercise fairness and impartiality, and will uphold every right that Mrs. Arroyo, as an accused, is entitled to under the constitution," she added.
Earlier in the day, Comelec has signed a resolution seeking to file electoral sabotage charges against former President, now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
"COMELEC en banc has signed a resolution calling for the filing of a case for electoral sabotage against former president GMA," James Jimenez, Comelec spokesman said earlier in the day.
Jimenez said commissioners voted 5-2. Two other commissioners abstained from voting.
Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo is not included in the charge sheet due to insufficient evidence.
Responding to critics of the charge's "timing," Jimenez said Comelec's decision was not necessarily to coincide with Arroyo's plan to leave for Singapore.
"Sinusunod lang po namin yung tamang proseso," Jimenez added in a television interview.
Based on Republic Act No. 6646, electoral sabotage constitutes altering of votes during an election, tampering numbers on "large scale or in substantial numbers."
It is punishable by life imprisonment.
The Comelec vote came ahead of the Supreme Court's en banc session on the government's motion for reconsideration on an earlier issued temporary restraining order against the watchlist order on Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel.
This development might again prevent the ailing Arroyo from leaving the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment